July 13, 2004

The Ken Jennings train keeps rolling on

Quite a number of people have found OPO by searching for info on Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy phenom, because I happened to use the word "winningest" in my original post about his amazing winning streak.

Jennings, who is still going strong, has prompted a 28% increase in viewership of the show during his six-week run. He is starting to pop up all over the place -- now that people are hopping on the bandwagon -- like Good Morning America, where he apparently revealed the unsurprising "secret" to his success, Today, Live with Regis & Kelly (scheduled for tomorrow, 7/14), The Early Show and, notably, Late Show with David Letterman, where he presented the Top Ten List.

Of course, every good bandwagon has its backlash, and Ken's has already begun (NY Times, reg. req.), with people referring to him as "annoying" and "cocky," and calling for him to voluntarily end his reign. It's anticipated that this call will become more strident now that he has reached the million dollar mark. That milestone was passed tonight, in a show where there was some fun repartee between Ken and Alex (when you watch them together night after night like this, you get to be on a first-name basis), as mentioned in this article.

I happen to think that Ken is a very nice and likeable nerd, I enjoy watching him wreak havoc on contestant after contestant and category after category, and I think that he should stay on as long as he continues to enjoy it and keeps winning. For those who say otherwise, I have only one response: Alex, I'll take "Sour Grapes" for a thousand.